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BSM05122016

10 BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP • MAY 13 - MAY 19, 2016 Sunset shines for Cinco de Mayo/Mother’s Day BY JAIME DEJESUS jdejesus@homereporter.com Sunset Park celebrated two holidays in one big celebration. On Sunday, May 8, hundreds gathered in the nabe to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day for a parade and festival along Fifth Avenue and in Sunset Park. “It was an incredible event. We were really happy that, now that the sound ban has been lifted through the park, the BID and Sunset Parker fi nally were able to do this event there,” said Renee Giordano, executive director of the Sunset Park Business Improvement District. “BID member Edgar Alvarez is the one who put it together. He said there were at least a thousand in the park.” The parade started at 60th Street and ended at the park, with participants marching and dancing in festive outfi ts. “People were on the sidewalk watching the performers,” Giordano said. “It included people from all walks of life and nationalities. It wasn’t a one-sided event. It was a Sunset Park event.” At the park, attendees danced to live music from acts such as Los Fugitivos and Fulanito. It was the fi rst event of its kind thanks to the lifting of the sound ban. “We received the permit when the Puerto Rican Day Parade proved to the police that the community wants this and we know what we’re doing,” Giordano said. According to Giordano, events such as these are important to celebrate the diversity of the neighborhood. “It gives a sense of community that shows that different groups here can work and enjoy together,” she said. “Learning about different cultures in ing the neighborhood is important so people understand and then feel a kinship to them.” BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by SB News The Cinco de Mayo celebration was a success. Landmarked courthouse to be interim library BY JAIME DEJESUS jdejesus@homereporter.com The Brooklyn Public Library has chosen the landmarked courthouse, 4201 Fourth Avenue, where Community Board 7 is located, as an interim library, while the Sunset Park Library is closed for expansion and the construction of affordable housing at the site. “One of the big concerns we’ve heard is when the library gets torn down for the new building to go up, what are those thousands of patrons who use that library going to do,” explained BPL Executive Vice President for External Affairs David Woloch during a meeting at CB 7 on Monday, May 9 with housing partner, the Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC). “We made a commitment that we would provide interim library service, something we don’t normally do. We found a location. It’s one you’re all familiar with. It’s this building.” According to Woloch, the NYPD will provide a minimum 5,000 square feet, possibly more, on the fi rst fl oor. “To be here on Fourth Avenue, not too far from the branch, in a building that’s already serving a public purpose, is about as good as it could get,” he continued. Some attendees were happy with the interim location. “The more we can make this building open to the public, the better,” CB 7 District Manager Jeremy Laufer said. “There are some issues that need to be resolved such as accessibility, but I’m sure those are just minor issues.” President of Village of Sunset Park Ray Acevedo hopes there’s more to come for the community. “As a whole, the courthouse is a good place for an interim library,” he said. “I wish that they would take the second floor so we could have the same or a little more space.” Woloch and FAC Director of Housing Jay Marcus also discussed revisions of the plans for the library site, such as providing more space, as well as units that accommodate families. “When we fi rst started, we proposed to go from 12,000 to 17,000 square feet,” Woloch said. “We are now shy of 21,000 square feet. This branch would be about the sixth biggest branch in the system.” The housing has also morphed, “because of what we heard from the community board,” said Marcus. “When we came in, there were a lot more one bedrooms, but we heard from you the need for families, and made it so half the units are two and three bedrooms. It made it more diffi cult fi nancially to put together but also made it a better project.” Fifty percent of the units will be reserved for CB7 residents. However, not everyone is thrilled with the project, slated for completion in 2019. “This community needs to be accountable to our children and families, and the future of this neighborhood,” said Maria Roca, founder of Friends of Sunset Park. “This entire property should serve the educational needs of this community from the basement to the eighth fl oor, and not include any type of housing.” Councilmember Carlos Menchaca contended that the need for both libraries and affordable housing in Sunset is strong. “We need a new library. Period,” he said. “Affordable housing is something we need in this community like nothing else except schools.” The interim library is scheduled to open in spring, 2017. BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photo by Jaime DeJesus Sunset Park’s future interim library.


BSM05122016
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